Walmart, the U.S. shopping heavyweight, recently had a humorous exchange with a Twitter user who tried to poke fun at them online. Going by the name Murk361, he posted, “I like going to Walmart for fun.” When Walmart asked what his favorite thing to do was, he replied, “Steal.”
Not missing a beat, Walmart came back with “Well played Murk. After further review of our store’s video feed, we’ve decided to let you keep the rash cream. Next time tho… pay in full. ;) “
Whether or not the theft actually took place, Walmart’s witty comeback is an excellent example of the kind of impact a well-organized social media presence can make. As of today, their funny reply got over 56,000 likes and more than 10,000 retweets, which is certainly not bad for PR and brand awareness.
Other companies such as the fast food giant Wendy’s have been on the social media game longer and has a brilliant marketing team behind the wheel of their twitter account. Thanks to their savvy, self-aware brand of humor, they’ve also hit high levels of high engagement; they’ve gotten almost 3 million followers and their posts have tens of thousands of shares and likes.
All of this has translated to a healthy profit margin. Between 2016 and 2017, Wendy’s revenue went from $129.6 million to $194 million, “which is a staggering 49.7% growth rate!”.
So, if you’re looking to get your business’ name out there and boost your sales, social media is the perfect platform. Even if you’re not a company, building your personal brand through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and various other social channels can give you the necessary leverage to enhance your brand.
That said, here are my 5 reasons why your personal brand needs a social media presence:
1. People Get To Know You
Social media provides you with the opportunity to present yourself and your business to the rest of the world through your perspective. This gives the general public direct access to you, product offerings, your brand positioning, and to dig deeper and learn more about your value proposition.
By doing so, it opens the door to partnerships and connections that mutually benefit your brand and other like-minded people. In addition, social media is a tremendous credibility-building tool. As people get to know you through access of your social channels, you can position yourself as a credible expert in your niche or industry, gain more traction online and build value to the public eye.
2. It Helps You Build a Community
Influencers and experts, such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins have used social media successfully in connecting to their respective audiences. As you communicate with your audience, followers get to interact with you and engage in global conversations with other people around the world. When they know that you see and hear them, their appreciation for your brand will increase tremendously, leading them to become loyal ambassadors of your brand.
In addition, social media platforms offer people a way to communicate their message and use it in a meaningful way. For example, Tony uses Twitter to share inspirational thoughts with his audience, followed by hashtags such as #WednesdayWisdom and #ThursdayThoughts. He also gets them engaged in various discussions, while using social media as an opportunity to promote his books and leadership courses.
Therefore, social media is not just about trying to get people to buy products and services from you, but also about raising awareness through conversations with fans, potential customers and collaborators.
3. Social Media is The New First Point Of Contact
Gone are the days when calling a company’s customer service toll-free number was the only way of sharing feedback or complaining to them. While it is still possible to reach businesses through phone or email, posting to Twitter or Facebook is the quickest way for someone to share their experiences with a brand’s product or service.
Whether you’re a person or a company, social media is an excellent platform to handle customers who’ve had a negative experience with your brand. When done right, this is the perfect way to soothe ruffled feathers and boost your brand’s name in the process.
It can also prevent a PR crisis or maintain existing ones so that they don’t get out of control. When immediately acknowledging complaints and positive feedbacks, your brand’s image will benefit greatly through this transparent engagement.
4. It Puts Your Values Into The Spotlight
More than anything, people need to sense that their personal values align with your brand before feeling comfortable engaging with it. Therefore, it not only builds brand loyalty but also deep trust when you reach out to your audience in an authentic manner through social media. People need to feel that they’re talking to a real person instead of an automated social media bot. If you can blend both promotional and meaningful content, your brand will grow authentically and successfully.
Aside from Wendy’s and various companies, Starbucks uses their brand story to connect with users online. In fact, they recently re-posted a story about one of their baristas who saved a customer’s life by performing CPR after suffering a heart attack. This positive brand experience allowed the world to see where Startbucks value lays, its not just about serving coffee but also about going above and beyond for every customer’s needs, even if it’s outside their scope. Social media can allow you to capitalize on these moments and share stories about your customers, behind-the-scenes look into the operations and the overall origin of your brand. Therefore, these stories help people understand the kind of values you stand for and allow you to cultivate an authentic social media presence.
5. Social Media Is Your Digital Swiss-Army Knife
This digital platform isn’t just a trend, it’s become the standard way of doing business in today’s hyperconnected marketplace. In addition, social media is increasingly versatile. Whether it’s PR, sales, marketing, or brand awareness, social media is a tool that can tweak and boost all areas of your marketing strategy.
Such as companies like Wendy’s and Walmart, you too need a social media strategy that can increase product awareness, drive sales, expand your audience, and even nip potential PR disasters in the bud. As you can see, your personal brand stands to gain a lot when you use social media as a full-fledged arm for your overall business operations.
Above all, social media is the modern-day vehicle that allows you to fulfill a need for your followers and customers alike, while ultimately creating massive value for your ambassadors and your personal brand overall.